In what has been an interrupted year for all rugby union players, U18s players are set to be perform on their highest stage this weekend.
After representative rugby was put on hold due to COVID-19, an adjusted U18 Gen Blue pathway was created, providing players with an opportunity to get some vital high-level game under their belt. C
ovid prevented the CHS, CCC, ACIES and Country juniors from having a representative pathway and a chance to play for NSW.
NSWRU Head of Talent Management Andrew Cleverley said it was important for this age group to get the opportunity to take to the field in a high-level fixture, with the best U18 players set to face off. This age is a key entry level for our Waratahs Academy and a path to playing professional Rugby.
“With representative rugby unable to go ahead in 2020, it was really important that we continued to provide pathway experiences for our U18 age group,” Cleverley said.
“The U18 Gen Blue pathway gives players the chance to showcase their talent and some much-needed exposure to representative rugby,” he said.
Gordon Rugby product Oskar Enasio will captain the U18 Gen Blue NSW Juniors side, who are set to face a Schools Selection XVs team led by Saint Ignatius’ College Dally Bird.
Enasio said he was humbled when he got the call and found out he was going to captain the Juniors side.
“Clev (Andrew Cleverley) called me and told me that I’d been selected, and it was quite an honour,” Enasio said.
“I’m looking forward to, hopefully, leading by example on Sunday,” he said.
The 17-year-old who has played all of his Rugby in the Shute Shield Colts competition for Gordon said that this opportunity to play against the Schools team and players his age is a fantastic.
“Playing rugby is the only way to get better, so the U18 Gen Blue game is a great way to develop and test our game,” Enasio said.
“We know the Schools side will put up a tough fight, they’re a very well drilled team, so we’re going to have to put in out best efforts against them,” he said.
The U18 Gen Blue NSW Juniors vs Schools Selection XVs will be streamed live this Sunday 15 November via CluchTV at 1pm.